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I wish there were more read by Jeremy Irons. Such a relaxing voice. The story was a fabulous insight into the life of this family of the upper class during the decades between wars. I thoroughly enjoyed listening.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What a coup for the BBC to snare Jeremy Irons, star of the 1981 TV adaptation, to revisit his role as the protagonist and narrator of Waugh's wartime masterpiece. The scenes from that incomparable drama floated through my head as he read, bringing all the magical cast back to life (Olivier, Gielgud, Claire Bloom, Jane Asher, John LeMesurier et al, like some 70s thespian super-group), not to mention the music... I can't possibly be objective about the novel itself, it is inextricably bound up with my adolescence (I first read it when the TV version was being shown) and is one of the main reasons that drew my wife and me together (we named our third son Charles Sebastian). I'd forgotten how funny it was, though, Rex's failed Catholic conversion and Antony Blanche's appearances being the comic highlights. I gave Irons' narration only four stars though because a couple of the accents jarred a bit (mostly Rex's, I'm glad Waugh didn't make him Australian), but overall he handles the large cast with aplomb (he must have picked up a lot from all those knights and dames back in the 80s). It was a treat from first to last though, I look forward to listening again in a few more years, no doubt it will resonate even more with age.
Brideshead has been recommended to me for 37 years. Now I know what all the fuss is about.